When I was young(er) and foolish(er) (a few years ago) I was shopping for an ADW. I saw a guy wearing a You Bet hat. I said to myself, "this looks cool. I will try them." I called. I could not be their customer because of where I lived. I then tried another that I saw. No sorry, I can not be their customer.
This goes on and on in racing. People calling and wanting to be a customer and being told that they can not be. "You will take what we give you and like it or you will not play racing!" seems to be the mantra. I am not the only one. It seems if you live in a state which does not allow it, own a pit bull as a pet, once voted for Barry Goldwater, or were caught with a cheat sheet in grade 4 math class in 1977, you are not allowed to bet racing.
Want a glimpse of the pure unadulterated insanity regarding this? Click here for customer requirements from a popular ADW (of course the nonsense has nothing to do with the ADW, it is the business which makes it this difficult). After reading it I feel like someone is going to spring a pop quiz on me, or perhaps they are playing a cruel joke. One thing I know what I don't feel like when I look at that mess - a customer.
Marketer Seth Godin explores this in a simple yet poignant piece called "Sorry you can't be a customer."
Here's the thing: From the rational consumer's point of view, this is silly. They should take my money and we'll both be happy.
Racing is not exactly healthy. We should not be turning people away, but each day it happens. If racing is not going to work on fixing much of this, Seth is correct with his premise that we need to be able to turn them away with a plan. A customer could walk in your door tomorrow and be a million dollar bettor, and over a lifetime supply you with revenue to run 10 North America Cups. He/she should be respected the moment the "can I be your customer" question is asked.
Monopolies can do this. An energy company in Alaska is needed by everyone, or folks would probably be pretty cold. I am sure they can be a little non-customer centric. Racing is not one. I hope we come to terms with it soon.
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